Tuesday, January 25, 2011

73 Using a wax medium 1 of 2

AFTER dabbling in encaustics I’ve been intrigued with wax lately and decided to try adding it to a couch on an oil painting. I applied the wax medium to a failed painting and was able to add quite of bit of texture, which I adjusted so the values created a more pleasing design. I was surprised at how buttery the wax medium was, and how it really grabbed my paint off the brush. I’m very intrigued with wax as a medium and will be trying adding cold wax medium to my paints as well.


  1. I have never tried wax medium, so this is very interesting. Can't wait to see part 2. On an aside, are there any permanence issues with the wax? I have heard encaustics are highly vulnerable to extreme temperature shifts. What are your thoughts?

  2. Encaustics melt at about 185 degrees. That is pretty hot. I think it would be fatal to breathe air that hot. I know a guy who shipped an encaustic to Las Vegas in July and had no problem with melting in transit. That being said I will probably add a bit more dammar crystals and chalk to my paint to strengthen the paint film. The dammar will make it a bit more brittle but the chalk will off-set that tendency. Adding chalk makes the wax really tough. I am painting my encaustics on half inch oak panels to be sure they don't crack. Overall I think encaustics are actually more archival than oil paints.

    I'm going to be doing a video on adding lots of wax to oil paint which I think has a lot of possibility, provided you paint on a panel or don't add more than 25% cold wax medium.


Thanks for your comments!


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